After getting a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Columbia University, I worked as a Research Staff Member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights (New York). When I was 33 years old, I won a National competition for Full Professor and went back to Italy. I have worked on a wide variety of problems, producing highly-cited results on a number of different areas. Most of my research is centered around the design, analysis and engineering of algorithms for big data sets, with applications to several areas, including graph theory, social network analysis, computer and network security, and computational biology. My background, which includes also a five-year experience in industrial research, puts me in a unique position to carry out work that combines basic research with strong focus on applications.
I published more than 250 papers, most of which in top journals and conferences in theoretical computer science / algorithms, such as J. ACM, SIAM J. Comp., J. Comput. Syst. Sci., ACM Trans. on Alg., Theor. Comp. Sci., and ACM STOC, IEEE FOCS, ACM-SIAM SODA, ICALP. As of September 2017, I have a total of 6,287 citations and h-index 39, calculated with Google Scholar, and 2,370 citations and h-index 24, calculated with Scopus.
In 2016 I was nominated EATCS Fellow for “fundamental contributions to the design and analysis of algorithms for solving theoretical and applied problems in graphs and massive data sets, and for his role in establishing the field of algorithm engineering”. The European Association for Theoretical Computer Science(EATCS) is an international organization founded in 1972, and EATCS Fellows are recognized for their outstanding scientific achievements in theoretical computer science (currently there are only about 20 EATCS Fellows). I enjoy collaborating with junior researchers and PhD students, and I am committed to fostering excellence in graduate education. In the last 15 years I supervised a total of 18 PhD students (14 graduated, 4 on-going).
I enjoy teaching and I have an extensive teaching experience. In the last 20 years I have been always teaching at least 2-3 courses per year, both at the undergraduate (bachelor) and graduate (master) level. Most of the courses were in the area of algorithms and data structures but I also taught courses on several other topics, including introduction to computer programming, computer architecture, database systems and computer and network security. I have been teaching also courses both at the undergraduate and graduate level for several universities worldwide (e.g., Aarhus University, Columbia University, University of Copenhagen, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Warsaw University) and I have been invited to lecture in several international Summer Schools.
Throughout the years I held several positions of high responsibility in universities. I have been Chair of the Evaluation Committee (Presidente del nucleo di valutazione) for 6 years, where I was responsible for evaluation (quality and effectiveness of courses offered and of the research activities carried out) and for strategic planning and control of the University. I have been Department Chair for 8 years: my Department had about 40 professors and researchers, 50 Ph.D. students and postdocs, and 5 administrative / tech staff, with an yearly budget (salary excluded) of the order of million Euros. My responsibilities as Department Chair included providing leadership toward the achievement of excellence in teaching, research and service activities of the department, working with other Chairs and Deans to coordinate resource allocations and faculty hires, preparing and proposing budget requests, attracting research grants at the department level, administering the department budget and supervising the work of tech / administrative staff within the department. Currently, I am the Rector’s Delegate for Quality, Evaluation and Performance (Delegato del Rettore per la Qualità, Autovalutazione e Performance), and I am in charge of the evaluation, quality control and the strategic and performance planning of the University. In all those positions, I have been managing and leading large teams of professors, researchers and staff.
I have been Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editor of 7 international journals, and I have been member / chair of about 80 Program Committees (PC) of international conferences, including the most prestigious in theoretical computer science / algorithms (e.g., STOC, FOCS, SODA, ICALP). On another note, I strive to pursue research questions that are not only academically challenging, but also relate to important practical problems, and thus I have been actively working on the technology transfer of my research results: I co-founded two successful startups, TrustMyPhone and Wireless Lab (recently sold to a French company), and I have been Member of the Board of Directors of another startup and of Consorzio Roma Ricerche, a consortium that supports and promotes technology transfer from research to industry. This is reflected also in my research funding, which comes not only from highly competitive grants from the European Union and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), but also from several industrial research contracts with large companies (e.g., Leonardo Finmeccanica SpA, Microsoft, Elettronica SpA) and SMEs (e.g., BioFly, Land, Mashfrog, Spike Reply).